In mid- to late summer, small pink and brown-tinted flowers are produced in airy, 3-8 inch long flower heads with a narrowly pyramidal silhouette.
Spikelets turn straw-colored to brown or gray at maturity, the enlarged grain (seed) pushing the spikelet apart, often splitting the palea down the middle. Mature florets drop off individually leaving the glumes behind on the stalk. Grains are shiny yellowish brown, nearly round in outline, 1.5 to 2 mm long, not much flattened.
Leaves are basal and alternate on the lower stem, 1 to 2 mm wide, 12 to 24 inches long, hairless but slightly rough on the underside and along the edges, flat or folded or rolled in along the edges (involute) giving a wiry appearance. The sheath is hairless except occasionally for a few sparse hairs at the tip. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is a fringe of short hairs. Nodes are smooth.
Habitats consist primarily of hill prairies, gravel prairies, dolomite prairies, black soil prairies, cemetery prairies, prairie remnants along railroads, and limestone glades. Less often, Prairie Dropseed has been found in savannas, thinly wooded rocky bluffs, and grassy fens. This grass is found primarily in high quality natural areas. It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.
Growing prairie dropseed from seed requires patience and attention. It takes approximately five years to become fully established.
Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is Prairie Dropseed: Tips For Growing Prairie Dropseed Plants https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/prairie-dropseed/growing-prairie-dropseed.htm
****It is an excellent wildlife plant, as birds enjoy feasting on its seeds. Once you’ve observed the Prairie Dropseed, be sure to investigate the area for birds feasting on its seeds